Lessons from the Past about Facebook
Did you ever wonder “How do we know exactly what John Adams & Thomas Jefferson were thinking and why they made certain decisions?” You can ask this question of any person who lived and loved before the radio, film & computer age. But how is this possible? We have a very good insight into many of the people who came before us, during this pre-modern age for one reason only. They wrote a lot. And I mean a lot. Most educated people kept diaries and wrote back and forth to their loved ones, friends and colleges. Remember that there were no telephones, computers, video chatting software, mobile phones. It gets even worse for our friends from this “pre-modern” age! There was no Facebook and they could not even text! How did they survive and communicate? I will say this again, they wrote diaries and they wrote to each other on a regular basis.
The writings that have survived have provided their future generations with insight into what kind of human beings they were. However today we live in a digital age and writing letters to each other is quickly becoming a lost art. The closest thing to a “letter” these days is probably an email message.
Another way in which we communicate with each other is Facebook. If you think about it, Facebook is very much like a “public diary”. We note everything from the health of our family and ourselves to sports commentary, what television programs we are watching as well as discussing the music we enjoy. I believe that Facebook has become the 21st century version of the 19th century diary.
If you think of Facebook as a diary you may want to download a copy of it from time to time to preserve your “Facebook Timeline” locally. You may even want to print it annually and then place it in a nice binder of some sort.
Facebook offers the ability to “archive” or download a copy of your timeline. I recommend that if you are a regular user of Facebook you take the time to do this at least once a year. After all it’s your “modern diary”. Perhaps someday in the distant future when technology has crashed and civilization is rebuilding itself someone may stumble upon your printed Facebook timeline and learn just a little bit about you and why for example you believed “Pink Floyd” was SO much better a rock band then “Led Zeppelin”.
Steps to Download Your Facebook
1. Account Settings
2. At the bottom of the “General Account Settings” page select “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.
3. Select “Start My Archive”.
This download will take a while because it has to gather your photos, wall posts, messages and other information. The archive process will then ask you to verify your identify in order to make sure that it is YOU asking for the archived data.
4. You will receive a message that states an email will be “sent when your archive is ready to download”.
5. Then you will receive a message that states that the archive is “pending” and an email will be sent when it is ready.
6. You will receive an email stating that the “requested download” is ready from Facebook. A hyperlink will be included to access your archive.
7. When you click on the hyperlink you will be transported to Facebook where you will need to login.
8. Then you will be prompted to download the archive.
9. Save your archive and there you go, you have your own copy of your archived Facebook timelime.
You can also download an “Expanded Archive” which includes historic IP addresses that Facebook stores about your logins to Facebook.